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The Book of Dads: Essays on the Joys, Perils, and Humiliations of Fatherhood

3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  43 ratings  ·  18 reviews


"A generation of men reinvents fatherhood and discovers that beyond the anxiety, beyond the slip-ups and pratfalls, beyond the woeful self-revelations, beyond the burdens, beyond the diaper-changing and PTA meetings and tuition bills, beyond the unexpected intensity of the thing,

Paperback, 304 pages
Published May 12th 2009 by Harper Perennial (first published January 1st 2009)
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matthew r. dobson
This was a mixed bag. A couple of the pieces were great, a couple were terrible, and most had nice sentiment but not greatly compelling or relatable.

I think my biggest disconnect with this collection was the homogenous group of writers and stories. This isn't so much a collection of essays from dads as it is a collection of essays from writers who are dads…I guess that's the trick…writers write, but, I'd love some stories I could more closely relate to - stories from men with full time jobs, men
I have a 3-month-old girl (my first), so I’ve been reading a lot of books on fatherhood lately. On the one hand I have learned a lot from them and I’ve never gotten so many approving looks from women on the subway, but on the other, they’re mostly pretty badly written. Actually, maybe “badly” is the wrong word – they’re just not written with entertaining me in mind. I have to say, I generally look forward to reading my baby’s books to her more.

Enter The Book of Dads. Over this summer I’ve used t
Don't take it from me, take it from these writers. A great Father's Day gift under $20.

“Want to sit around with some really sharp, articulate men and find out what scares the hell out of them and breaks their hearts and makes their existence worthwhile? Read this book.”
— Kelly Corrigan, New York Times bestselling author of The Middle Place

“Finally a book for us. Being a father is harrowing, life affirming, traumatic, astonishing, and hysterically funny—the totality of which is captured in the
I'm not sure if I should rate books that I didn't finish reading...but that said, I only sort of liked some of the essays in this book. When it was due back to the library I didn't like it well enough to finish reading it and accumulate the fines. (Unlike the $12.00 fine I have on "Fast Food Nation" because I couldn't bring myself to return it until I'd finished it! It might be cheaper to buy it at this point.) Maybe there would have been some essays towards the end of the book that I'd have lik ...more
This was a fantastic anthology. Steve read it to me, and the stories really spoke to him. I checked it out of the library for him for Father's Day. The dads in there were very accessible and down to earth. Some dads were sentimental, some clearly immature, and at least half of the stories were down right funny, but the stories were warm and honest. Only a few were extra sad. I think we both felt better for having read these stories. I liked too that this anthology touched on all sorts of parenti ...more
Jun 12, 2009 Nicole added it
Recommends it for: new dads...and old dads...and sons of dads
Shelves: hbs-events
A strange but entertaining event.

Ben George was more awkward that I would have expected from a man who had to work with all these authors and organize a whole book. Steve Almond was as sarcastic and slightly inappropriate as ever. And Jenny Boylan was delightful onstage (though a bit shifty one-on-one). Props to George for including her on a book of Dads.f

Favorite quote: "I'm a big fan of thumbs. I can't get enough thumbs" Ben George's flirty pilot brother.

Favorite visual: watching short, baldin
Some essays are funny, some thought provoking; some are neither here nor there. Some are touching. I liked this book.
Some I felt close to my heart as if it was about my father and me. They were genuine and honest.
Many of the stories sounded too sentimental or a little over the top or trying to be funny - didn't work for me. It was better than I expected even after reading other reviews. Now I have definitely a softer spot for my father after knowing all these clumsy fathers' affection toward their kids.
Rick Pendrick
After only the first few chapters, I find the book an entertaining read. I see parallels not only to my own father, but also to myself as the father of a just-married young man. Each chapter seems a view of fatherhood/parenthood from a different perspective.
This one was hit or miss, some of the essays were really good, and others were very cliche. But overall pretty solid. The book covers fatherhood from a variety of ages, so it's one I might return to in a few years to review the essays about older kids.
Really enjoyed this collection, though I have to admit to liking some of the essays way more than others. Probably should be required reading for all new fathers to help them get through the tough times as well as cherish the good times more.
The author complied this book as a response to his wife reading "Operating Instructions" by Annie Lamott. Some of the essays are great, others only so-so. A nice try, but not quite up to the level I think he was trying to get to.
I've read a ton of books about mothering, but never a book from a father's perspective. I enjoyed this book of essays about fatherhood and felt I could connect to most of the authors.
Aaron Ryba
Sep 16, 2009 Aaron Ryba is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Some great, hilarious essays. Short stories are always a good format for those who have a short attention span, especially those of us who are fathers.
Some really wonderful essays on what it means to be a Dad--or a son. Moving between heartwarming, poignant or just outright hilarious. Great stuff.
Really sweet and insightful (as I'm not ever going to be a dad or anything). Made me call my dad.
Every dad's dive into fatherhood is unique. Some are uniquer than others.
Ayelet Waldman
Some of these essays were terrific.
Carol Gatfield
Carol Gatfield marked it as to-read
Jan 24, 2015
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